Though when out of time, I prefer boiling the fruits and nuts in rum, if I have the luxury to plan ahead, I go the more elaborate way.
Soaking the fruits and nuts in rum gives it unparalleled flavor, but do remember that it stays a strictly adult only cake.
Makes 35-40 squares
1 litre Spiced Rum (I prefer Captain Morgan)
2 cups Raisins (chopped)
2 cups Cashew nuts (raw, chopped)
(Add other dry fruits and nuts as you like maintaining this proportion)
1.5 cups Granulated sugar
(We will use the rum strained from soaking as the liquid)
1/2 cup Vegetable oil (flavorless)
2 tbsp Vanilla extract
2.5 cups All purpose flour
1 tbsp Baking powder (I know this sounds like a lot. But it’s a big cake and the amount of fruits weighing it down needs some serious rising power)
1. Soak the fruits in the rum for 25-30 days
2. On the day that you are preparing your cake, strain the rum from the soaked fruits and reserve. This would almost come to a little over 3 cups
3. Mix your dry ingredients (from the Remaining section in ingredients list) and set aside
4. Mix your wet ingredients (from the Remaining section in ingredients list) and set aside
5. Preheat your oven to 350 F and Grease and line a 13.5×9.5 inch pan with parchment paper
6. Set a large deep vessel on heat on a burner
7. Pour the reserved rum and add the sugar to this. This needs to boil till the volume is down to approximately 2 cups.
Constantly watch this and stir occasionally since this does have a major tendency to froth up and boil over, catching fire. You need your full attention here.
8. Let it cool for 2-3 minutes
From this point on you need to be quick as what you have made is sticky caramel that will solidify very fast
9. Pour the caramel onto the fruits and nuts while mixing thoroughly.
Make sure there are no lumps, if yes, put in the microwave for a minute and mix again
10. Add the dry ingredients to this and combine well
11. Now add the wet ingredients to this and combine very well. Take care not to press down on the fruits while doing this
12. Pour this in the prepared pan and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in center comes out clean
13. Completely cool before cutting and serving
Add a teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger into the dry ingredients for the authentic Kerala plum cake taste